Congratulations to the

2021 BIPOC Artist’s Film Fund recipient, MC de Natividad



WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Film Group and IATSE Local 856 are pleased to announce that Maria Cristina (MC) de Natividad is the recipient of the inaugural BIPOC Artist’s Film Fund.

The Fund awards $10,000 in cash, plus equipment rentals, training and memberships, to a novice BIPOC filmmaker creating an original short film. The award is administered by the Winnipeg Film Group and adjudicated by a peer assessment committee made up solely of BIPOC artists and arts professionals. IATSE Local 856 is the fund’s founding partner.

de Natividad is an emerging filmmaker with over a decade of digital storytelling experience, including video production. Originally from the Philippines, de Natividad is interested in exploring the topics of lost and reclaimed culture and identity.

“This is such an incredible honour. As someone who does not have a background in traditional filmmaking, receiving this grant opens up many opportunities and helps to legitimize me as an emerging filmmaker,” said de Natividad. “The Fund will allow me to share and advocate for BIPOC stories and representation in media. I plan to work with other BIPOC folks in the film industry to demonstrate the impact of lost language and culture within the Filipino community. I feel very strongly that we need to have these meaningful conversations to move forward as a more diverse community for future generations.”

Her debut film, Bumalik (to go back), is a documentary that will focus on the Filipino language within the context of the Filipino diaspora. Along with hearing from experts within Winnipeg’s Filipino and immigrant community, the project will spotlight de Natividad’s personal journey to relearn her native tongue Tagalog (the main dialect in the Philippines), which she lost after she immigrated to Canada as a child. Her hope for this film is to inspire and empower others to also reclaim their lost identities.

“The jury found Maria Cristina’s proposal incredibly compelling. It’s clear that she’s a skilled storyteller with the technical experience to create something extraordinary,” said Winnipeg Film Group’s Interim Executive Director David Knipe. “We are looking forward to working with her and seeing this project come to life.”

“Maria’s film is exactly the kind of project we hoped for when we created this fund,” said Monique Perro, Business Agent for IATSE Local 856. “We are thrilled that her voice will be added to Winnipeg’s film industry. Her exploration of identity and language will speak to Winnipeg’s many diaspora communities.”

Applications for the BIPOC Artist’s Film Fund will reopen in the Fall of 2022.
For more information, please visit the BIPOC Artist’s Film Fund page.

The peer selection committee was comprised of IATSE 856 Representative, T’ai Pu, Manager, Programs & Development at National Screen Institute, Jessica Gibson and freelance filmmaker and owner of JP Media Works, Jordan Popowich. The selection committee was chaired by WFG Production Training Coordinator, Karen Remoto.

A total of 16 submissions were received for this cycle of the award.


The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema. They also manage Cinematheque, an intimate movie theatre devoted to screening the very best in Canadian and world cinema, as well as hosting artist talks, panel discussions and special events to feed the minds of cinema fans.

IATSE Local 856 represents freelance specialty Artists, Technicians and Crafts workers in the Manitoba Motion Picture industry. Our mission is to represent the skilled workforce in the Manitoba film industry for the purposes of: advancing the economic, social and cultural interests of our Membership; engaging in such other activities as may be necessary or proper to strengthen the labour movement; promoting and supporting democracy and trade unionism; and improving wages and hours of work, increasing job security and improving working conditions.